Performing musicians and ensembles
The Belinfante Quartet was formed in 2016 and since then has performed extensively in the Netherlands and throughout Europe. With the aim of sharing a passion for music with the wider public, they explore works from the core of the string quartet repertoire combined with lesser-known masterpieces. Kindly supported by Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, they are currently following lessons with Marc Danel at the Netherlands String Quartet Academy in Amsterdam and they are also studying at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover with Oliver Wille. They have recently been selected to take part in MUSA (European young MUsicians soft Skills Alliance), ideated by Le Dimore del Quartetto, a European professional training project for young string quartets supported by Erasmus+. In 2021 the quartet has been selected to take part in Le Dimore del Quartetto network.
The Belinfante Quartet also takes part in the SQBA Residency at the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam 2022.
They have performed at festivals throughout Europe including the String Quartet Biënnale Amsterdam, International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht, the Grachtenfestival and the Tiberius Festival in Romania. Recent engagements include performances in TivoliVredenburg and in MuziekHaven Zaandam, where they played a live recital on NPO Radio 4 ‘Avondconcert’. They have also performed live on the Dutch television show ‘Podium Witteman’.
In addition to these activities, the Belinfante Quartet enjoys the opportunity to work with other artists. During the Delft Fringe Festival in June 2019, they collaborated with visual artist Jordi Cárdenas Lozano to create ‘Tchk-Tsjech!’, a performance in which the fairytale-esque music of Léos Janácek was accompanied by poetic and abstract slide projections. Their performance won them the Delft Chamber Music Festival Award 2019. In 2020, they played workshops and performances in secondary schools in Almere (NL) together with over 150 teenagers, in collaboration with urban dance group Static and Who’s Next.
With their name, the quartet would like to honour Frieda Belinfante, being a cellist and the first professional female conductor in Europe. Her sincerity, perseverance and fervour, in music as well as in other aspects of her life, form a magnificent source of inspiration.
Duo Esther Kuiper and Heleen Vegter
For their song recital ‘Droomt zij?’ Esther and pianist Heleen Vegter selected Robert Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben, and their favorite songs by Dutch composers Henriëtte Bosmans (1895-1952) and Anna Cramer (1873-1968). Both of them spent a great deal of their lives in Amsterdam and had very specific composition styles. Where Bosmans’ works became famous already during her lifetime, Cramers’ manuscripts were found only after her death. During the last years of her life, she became paranoid and hid all of her work in a safe at the bank. In this program, Bosmans’ grand gestures complement Cramers’ dreamlike miniature worlds. In the poems they set to music, the boundary between dream and reality seems to vanish.
The Artist’ Secret
Complainte du petit cheval blanc
La Chanson Fatale
Chanson (Quel jour sommes nous?)
Lead Kindly Light
Heleen Vegter by Masha Bakker
Esther Kuiper by Sarah Wijzenbeck
Bosmans & Beyond Ensemble
Bosmans & Beyond is a group of musicians willing to create a platform for promoting the work of female composers, and, more generally, of forgotten composers. It intends to perform their music, to organise events, and to make research about their lives and work.
The group is named in honour of Henriëtte Bosmans (1895-1952), a Dutch composer and pianist of great talent whose music deserves a wider audience.
It was founded in 2020 by musicians Elizaveta Agrafenina (Soprano, Russia/Norway), Natalia Szmydt (Violin, Poland) and Dimitri Malignan (Piano, France/Romania). They all met during their studies at the Amsterdam Conservatory, and are now based between the Netherlands, Belgium, and France.
During the 2022 season, they will perform concerts with music by Bosmans, but also Elisabeth Kuyper (1877-1953) and of young contemporary composers based in the Netherlands. Moreover, They will record a CD of rare works by Henriëtte Bosmans.
Music that lifts the spirit can be intensely joyful, profoundly moving, and unforgettable. Ekstasis is committed to creating juxtapositions and similarities through daring programming. We thrive on the contrast, intensity, and passion that we find in these compositions. We aim to share music that electrifies our audience and offers every possible emotion on the spectrum.
Natasha and Eliran met as students years ago at Juilliard. After some exciting performances in New York City and upstate NY, the two decided to embark on a new mission: to create compelling programming celebrating masterpieces alongside the secret jewels of lesser-known works.
With a focus on storytelling that pinpoints an aspect of the human condition or creates an atmosphere through sound, their concerts offer solo and chamber music works, and occasionally incorporate multimedia, readings, video, and visual art. During last year’s season, the duo promoted the music of women composers with a program called “Women’s Voices.” This initiative also included lectures, audio and video recordings. Their debut CD of this project will be released in 2022.
The 2021-2022 season will feature an expanded program that includes other minority composers. “…From the Shadows” will introduce you to the music of George Walker, Henriëtte Bosmans, Lili Boulanger, Alexander Zemlinsky, and Alma Mahler. This fall, the duo gave performances at Buffalo’s Friends of Vienna series, The Fredonia Opera House, Lily Dale Auditorium, and on Rochester public radio at “Live from Hochstein.” Upcoming concerts with this program include engagements with Arizona’s Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Ohio’s Holland Theater, and Maryland’s Resonance Chamber Music Series.
Utrecht String Quartet
On String Quartet by Bosmans:
We have performed this beautiful quartet extensively, taking it with us to audiences abroad, London, Madrid, Ottawa, New York and Sydney. The audiences have always been delightfully surprised and thrilled to hear this fine compact music filled with crisp rhythms and impressionistic melodies. Our CD production with NM extra received international acclaim, the American Record Guide : “…Bosmans fine 1927 Quartet is in three movements and I listened to every one of them with pleasure and admiration…she wrote real melodies”.
– Utrecht String Quartet
The Utrecht String Quartet, one of the most renowned chamber-music ensembles, is known internationally for its versatility and dynamism. Resident in the Netherlands, the musical world of the Utrecht String Quartet is both borderless and boundless. Its musicians adopt a vibrant, versatile approach to their chosen genre, rejecting traditional, ‘museum-piece’ interpretations out-of-hand. Even in the most traditional of works, they succeed time and again in discovering elements that can be interpreted anew, or in finding unusual and meaningful concert locations in which to perform them. However, it is their continual search for lost or forgotton repertoire and for their collaboration with contemporary composers that has earned them such an excellent reputation in the music world.
International tours have demonstrated this versatility. In July 2010, the quartet made a successful debut in Canada at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival. In 2011 and 2013 concert tours in the USA followed (Library of Congress, Frick Collection). In the Netherlands, the USQ plays in all the important chamber-music series. Since May 2010, the quartet hosts its own annual chamber music festival in their hometown of Utrecht – the Music and Art Days. The USQ is also active pedagogically and is responsible for the chamber-music class at the Utrecht Conservatory. In addition to its extensive programmes of concerts, the USQ also performs for radio and television and for CD recordings. A sizeable collection of its CDs has appeared under the MDG label. These recordings have received excellent reviews in all the well-known musical periodicals such as The Gramophone, the BBC Music Magazine, the USA Fanfare and the German periodical Fono Forum.
Loes Visser is an inspiring conductor who challenges and inspires the orchestra, working in an atmosphere of friendship, responsibility and devotion to music. She invites her musicians to realise their musical dreams together, always persuing a high standard. Her musical programmes exhale vision and creativity and invite the audience to listen. Her mission: to bring out the best in musicians with great love for the music and its listeners!
Loes Visser started conducting at the age of 18 and has since led several orchestra’s both at home and abroad, including the Kiev Soloists, the European Sinfonietta, the Slowak Sinfonietta, the State Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine and the Dutch ‘New Ensemble’. She performed with great soloists like pianists Naum Grubert and Daniel Wayenberg, soprano Eva Maria Westbroek, tenor Frank van Aken, sopranos Miranda van Kralingen and Bernadeta Astari, violinists Liza Ferschtman, Charlie Siem, Carla Leurs, Maria Milstein, Rosanne Philippens, Daniel Rowland and the great cellist Gavriel Lipkind.
With her Adamello Ensemble, which she founded in 1990, Loes Visser performed in special locations with a.o. programs around Dutch women composers Alba Rosa Viëtor en Henrietta Bosmans, concerttours to Italy and a series of Young Person’s Concerts in the spirit of the great Leonard Bernstein. Most radical were the concerts performed with the ensemble inside the Dutch jail in Scheveningen.
In 2007 Loes Visser founded the Britten Youth String Orchestra for young talented musicians. She leads the young string players in great performances and inspires them in their passion to grow as musicians. She is a true coach for young musical talent.
Touched by the music of Bosmans
Article by Loes Visser
The Ardemus Quartet was forged through a burning passion for chamber music (Ardemus lat.: we burn). The four young international musicians combine seamlessly to create a refreshing musical experience.
The quartet performs throughout the Netherlands and Europe and has been a guest artist at numerous festivals including the International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht (NL), Grachtenfestival Amsterdam (NL), Wonderfeel Festival (NL), Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival (DE), Westfalen Classics (DE), Festival Next Generation Bad Ragaz (CH), Osor Musical Evenings (HR), St. Mark’s Festival Zagreb (HR), and has performed in concert halls such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Lisinski Hall Zagreb, Izumi Hall Osaka, Konzerthaus Berlin, Scala Basel and the BOZAR Brussels.
Since its formation in Amsterdam (2014), the Ardemus Quartet has been successful in various national and international competitions, amongst others: Boris Papandopulo Competition in Zagreb (2015), Grachtenfestival Concours in Amsterdam (2016), International Competition for Young Musicians Ferdo Livadić in Samobor (2016), and was a semi-finalist in the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan (2017). In 2018 the Ardemus Quartet toured throughout The Netherlands as a finalist of the Dutch Classical Talent Award.
They have collaborated with stage directors Annechien Koerselman and Margrith Vrenegoor, with pianists Boris Kusnezow and Mario Häring, the Cantus Ensemble and composers Tijmen van Tol, Davorin Kempf, Sanda Majurec and Donald Yu.
In May 2019 the Ardemus Quartet released their debut CD “Traces” with Cobra Records.
Project “Yes, she can!”
Women are still significantly underrepresented in classical music. For centuries, it was claimed that they were not suitable for playing a wind instrument because their lungs were too small, and as violinists, men found them “improper”. And they were also not trusted with the conductor’s baton – even though it weighs only 30 grams.
In the program “Yes, she can!“ the Ardemus Quartet tells the stories of five remarkable and admirable women who have changed the world of classical music: Frieda Belinfante, George Sand, Nadezhda von Meck, Clara Schumann and Hildegard von Bingen
Their struggles, their unbreakable will and their love for music are an inspiration to us. We will share their stories through music and original texts by award-winning writer Ivana Bodrozic.
Texts by: Ivana Bodrozic
Music by a.o.: Clara Schumann, Frédéric Chopin and Henriëtte Bosmans
Do you want to become an Ambassador of Bosmans music?
Send us an e-mail!